Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

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Grigoris
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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by Grigoris » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:28 am

Off-topic discussion on Madhyamaka and Right View moved here.
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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by muni » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:51 am

On the other hand, in Vedanta only one is affirmed as real and everything else is negated as unreal.
This looks like an impossibility. How can "one" be real, and "everything else" not, which is then "things" are "negated"…….. by what?
What sees this, what thinks this, what believes this? What experiences this? How can there be a real lasting self on its own?
It would vanish when it is on its own!!! How is there "any kind of reality or self on its' own", without there "being an other" perceiving or thinking there is such?

All is like a rock? An eternal massive rock? I am not joking but try to understand.

In :meditate: , the inexpressible inseparable of the experiencer-experience or perceiver-perceived cannot be nihilism or absolutism. Some Buddhist teachings also used the word "Self" but this is not a self on its self and can thereby be misleading. As it is the indestructible nature ( see Vajra). Or dependence-emptiness. Or inseparable two truths,...………..
Buddhism doesn't get to the point where phenomena are utterly negated. Appearances can be likened to an illusion or called an illusion, what matters is the intended meaning of those terms. Things are/like illusions because they are not substantial, i.e. empty, but being empty is not denying things, it's negating the misunderstanding about things that causes attachment.
Thanks for any explanation. :anjali:
Which human beings are “fortunate and connected?” They are the ones who generate love, compassion, and devotion, as well as the commitment to remain steadfast on the path until all beings are liberated. Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches.

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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by Astus » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:49 am

tobes wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:27 am
Samvrti is still explicitly defined by Tsong Khapa as 'concealing' - and he is one of the most robust defenders of the notion of two truths being complementary.
Sure, it is concealing, since it primarily signifies the mistaken conceptions of ordinary beings. It is a later step where the two truths are realised as undivided. First one aims from samsara to nirvana.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by Astus » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:06 am

muni wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:51 am
How can "one" be real, and "everything else" not, which is then "things" are "negated"…….. by what? What sees this, what thinks this, what believes this? What experiences this? How can there be a real lasting self on its own? It would vanish when it is on its own!!! How is there "any kind of reality or self on its' own", without there "being an other" perceiving or thinking there is such?
The Atman/Brahman doesn't actually do anything in Advaita (apart from just being conscious), so when it comes to the matter of what can understand, it is the intellect (buddhi). You can find the arguments for an ultimate self in Sankara's and others' works, if you really want to dig into it.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by tobes » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:16 am

Astus wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:06 am
muni wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:51 am
How can "one" be real, and "everything else" not, which is then "things" are "negated"…….. by what? What sees this, what thinks this, what believes this? What experiences this? How can there be a real lasting self on its own? It would vanish when it is on its own!!! How is there "any kind of reality or self on its' own", without there "being an other" perceiving or thinking there is such?
The Atman/Brahman doesn't actually do anything in Advaita (apart from just being conscious), so when it comes to the matter of what can understand, it is the intellect (buddhi). You can find the arguments for an ultimate self in Sankara's and others' works, if you really want to dig into it.
Again, this sounds a lot more like Samkhya where there is hard division between mind and matter. Surely Brahman being a synonym for reality, encompasses all that is done and all that is not done. i.e. the entire play of seeming plurality-phenomena-causation-time etc is Brahman.

Maybe a modern synonym for Brahman would just be: the universe. It's definitely doing stuff!

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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by Astus » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:51 am

tobes wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:16 am
Again, this sounds a lot more like Samkhya where there is hard division between mind and matter. Surely Brahman being a synonym for reality, encompasses all that is done and all that is not done. i.e. the entire play of seeming plurality-phenomena-causation-time etc is Brahman.
Maybe a modern synonym for Brahman would just be: the universe. It's definitely doing stuff!
According to, for instance, Visistadvaitins, that may be so, but for those following Gaudapada and Sankara creation is the product of ignorance and it is unreal (e.g. Mandukya Karika 4.57).
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by muni » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:07 am

Astus wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:06 am
muni wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:51 am
How can "one" be real, and "everything else" not, which is then "things" are "negated"…….. by what? What sees this, what thinks this, what believes this? What experiences this? How can there be a real lasting self on its own? It would vanish when it is on its own!!! How is there "any kind of reality or self on its' own", without there "being an other" perceiving or thinking there is such?
The Atman/Brahman doesn't actually do anything in Advaita (apart from just being conscious), so when it comes to the matter of what can understand, it is the intellect (buddhi). You can find the arguments for an ultimate self in Sankara's and others' works, if you really want to dig into it.
Thanks. If that intellect is the same as the consciousness, then it could be like clarity emptiness but other words? Inseparable? :jawdrop:

If intellect and consciousness is different, than it is a perceiving intellect perceiving a lasting consciousness and this cannot be a sole one alone neither.

When I go to dig in texts I will certainly find more, but by :meditate: it is impossible to be there a one Self on itself neglecting other, whether this is then seen as a wrong one or a right one. It just has no ground to stay.

Thanks Astus.
Last edited by muni on Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
Which human beings are “fortunate and connected?” They are the ones who generate love, compassion, and devotion, as well as the commitment to remain steadfast on the path until all beings are liberated. Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches.

Examining the faults of others will not benefit anyone and only leads to more disturbing emotions, blocking our path to liberation. Penor Rinpoche

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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by Simon E. » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:20 am

Intellect? Please define.
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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by Wayfarer » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:31 am

In classical philosophy, ‘intellect’ is what perceives the real nature of things. It is much more associated with Western philosophy, where it’s a translation for the seminal Greek word ‘nous’. (Although interestingly, if I enter the word ‘intellect’ in the online Sanskrit dictionary, the top entry is a cognate of the word Buddha, for which the English equivalent is ‘understanding or intellect’.)
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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by muni » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:34 am

In accordance with the word Astus used, Buddhi;
Google:
Buddhi, differentiating, discriminating, learning; the intellect.
Which human beings are “fortunate and connected?” They are the ones who generate love, compassion, and devotion, as well as the commitment to remain steadfast on the path until all beings are liberated. Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches.

Examining the faults of others will not benefit anyone and only leads to more disturbing emotions, blocking our path to liberation. Penor Rinpoche

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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by Simon E. » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:46 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:31 am
In classical philosophy, ‘intellect’ is what perceives the real nature of things. It is much more associated with Western philosophy, where it’s a translation for the seminal Greek word ‘nous’. (Although interestingly, if I enter the word ‘intellect’ in the online Sanskrit dictionary, the top entry is a cognate of the word Buddha, for which the English equivalent is ‘understanding or intellect’.)
And if we deploy the Skandha/Khandhas schema where does 'intellect' fit?

And how likely is it that 'intellect' will be conflated with 'cognitions'?
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Any major dude will tell you”.

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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by Astus » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:48 am

muni wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:07 am
If that intellect is the same as the consciousness, then it could be like clarity emptiness but other words? Inseparable?
No, atman and buddhi are separate.
by :meditate: it is impossible to be there a one Self on itself neglecting other, whether this is then seen as a wrong one or a right one. It just has no ground to stay.
The self is believed to be the ultimate unchanging knower, and never the known. It is not uncommon that a meditator finds the perceiver/watcher/witness as independent of all the perceived phenomena, and thus assumes it to be the true mind.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by muni » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:04 pm

Astus wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:48 am
muni wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:07 am
If that intellect is the same as the consciousness, then it could be like clarity emptiness but other words? Inseparable?
No, atman and buddhi are separate.
by :meditate: it is impossible to be there a one Self on itself neglecting other, whether this is then seen as a wrong one or a right one. It just has no ground to stay.
The self is believed to be the ultimate unchanging knower, and never the known. It is not uncommon that a meditator finds the perceiver/watcher/witness as independent of all the perceived phenomena, and thus assumes it to be the true mind.
That last one sound like ghost under my bed.

I have no idea about others' meditation, While text says it is a separation.

I think I need a break of thoughts about.

And of course the inseparability of perceiver-perceiving has no discrimination or intellectual discriminating activity.

Thank you.
Which human beings are “fortunate and connected?” They are the ones who generate love, compassion, and devotion, as well as the commitment to remain steadfast on the path until all beings are liberated. Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches.

Examining the faults of others will not benefit anyone and only leads to more disturbing emotions, blocking our path to liberation. Penor Rinpoche

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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by tobes » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:23 am

Simon E. wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:46 am
Wayfarer wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:31 am
In classical philosophy, ‘intellect’ is what perceives the real nature of things. It is much more associated with Western philosophy, where it’s a translation for the seminal Greek word ‘nous’. (Although interestingly, if I enter the word ‘intellect’ in the online Sanskrit dictionary, the top entry is a cognate of the word Buddha, for which the English equivalent is ‘understanding or intellect’.)
And if we deploy the Skandha/Khandhas schema where does 'intellect' fit?

And how likely is it that 'intellect' will be conflated with 'cognitions'?
It is clearly implied in the functioning of the samskaraskandha.

However, I think the fact that the samjnaskandha imposes linguistic impositions upon reality, means that within Abhidharma analysis, there is something akin to intellect involved in our very perceptions. Maybe this is what you mean by cognitions?

So, both of those, but mainly the former.

Within the context of the samskaraskandha, one could also think about the development of prajna, as a mental propensity that needs to be cultivated and once developed, is able to distinguish right from wrong view. In this way, even though 'intellect' gets a very bad wrap in a lot of contemporary Buddhism, it is definitely at the root of the path.

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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by haha » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:37 am

Buddhi: To define, one should understand how they have categorized it. It also depends on which source they are using (i.e. which upanishad). It is related to antahkaraṇa (internal organ); it can be divided into one to five; that depends on texts they are quoting. Commonly used three are intellect (buddhi ), egoity (ahamkara), and mind (manas). Intellect in that sense has Discriminative quality.

In the five skandhas, it can be included in Consciousness aggregate. Eight consciousness theory of Mind only school is similar to Sankhya theory at least some degree. Mano, Klistha and Alaya may have some similarity to antahkaraṇa.

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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:41 am

Simon E. wrote:how likely is it that 'intellect' will be conflated with 'cognitions'?
Not likely at all. My previous response simply drew attention to the dictionary definition of the term, as requested, but Buddhism doesn't generally use the term 'intellect' in this way, so it's probably not a useful subject to pursue (or if desired via a different thread).
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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by Simon E. » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:09 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:41 am
Simon E. wrote:how likely is it that 'intellect' will be conflated with 'cognitions'?
Not likely at all. My previous response simply drew attention to the dictionary definition of the term, as requested, but Buddhism doesn't generally use the term 'intellect' in this way, so it's probably not a useful subject to pursue (or if desired via a different thread).
This.

I have not read all available expositions of Buddhadharma ;) obs.

But I don't think I have come across 'intellect' as a cognate for 'buddhi' and I wonder at its usefulness.

But that's me.
“ When the demon is at your door, in the morning it won’t be there no more
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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by Diamondway » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:15 pm

I am not an expert but I would like to add something if I a may, , As far as I understood When it comes to two truth , There is a relative truth and an Ultimate Truth, here relative truth refers to the conditional truth which resulted from the varieties of Causes and condition, Such as everything that we see, Hear, Smell, Sense. but in Ultimate truth, When You pierce down the deeper level, We see that everything as is resulted from interdependent origination, Nothing actually exist on its own as we perceive. Hence we stuck in this samsaric illusion, In ultimate Truth, Mind is what it is, It is neither changing nor unchanging, Anyone who experimentally ( Not intellectually) understood the ultimate truth has reached Buddhahood (Complete liberation from samsaric illusion)

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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by Grigoris » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:42 am

Diamondway wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:15 pm
I am not an expert but I would like to add something if I a may, , As far as I understood When it comes to two truth , There is a relative truth and an Ultimate Truth, here relative truth refers to the conditional truth which resulted from the varieties of Causes and condition, Such as everything that we see, Hear, Smell, Sense. but in Ultimate truth, When You pierce down the deeper level, We see that everything as is resulted from interdependent origination, Nothing actually exist on its own as we perceive. Hence we stuck in this samsaric illusion, In ultimate Truth, Mind is what it is, It is neither changing nor unchanging, Anyone who experimentally ( Not intellectually) understood the ultimate truth has reached Buddhahood (Complete liberation from samsaric illusion)
I fail to see the relevance to the discussion. Can you please explain?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
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Re: Brahman and Atman in Kagyu?

Post by AmidaB » Thu May 02, 2019 8:24 am

Maybe this is an interesting in relation to the 'atman' (from here: https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/ques ... ed-using-a)
I will attempt to answer, with help from mAnUkya upanishad. English language, being the most simplistic in grammar, has and uses only 1 word to describe Atma. That 1 word being soul. However, according to vEdAnta, there are several types of Atma. Per mAndUkya upanishad verse ii, Atma is of chatush pAda or of 4 quarters, which are -

vaiswAnara Atma = This Atma governs your body when you are in the awake state of being, such as between when you get up from bed in morning till you sleep at night. Into this Atma our mind is sucked into and retained until we go to sleep.
taijasa Atma = This Atma governs our body when we are dreaming state during our sleep. When you are asleep at night, and are dreaming, it is this Atma that is 'living' in the body. Into this Atma our mind is sucked into and retained until we move from dreaming state to non-dreaming state in our sleep.
pragnyAna Atma = This Atma governs our body when we are in the REM sleep stage during our sleep. That is the state when we are asleep but are not dreaming yet we are breathing and alive. Into this Atma our mind is sucked into and retained until we wake up from sleep. This 'is the lord of all; this is omniscient; this is the in-dwelling controller (of all); this is the source and indeed the origin and dissolution of all beings.' claims verse 6 of mAndUkya upanishad. Therefore, it can be emphasized that so long as this pragnyAna Atma exists, the body is alive or made to live, otherwise the body cannot live or be made alive.
Verse 7 then goes into the 'turiya' state of the Atma, or the 4th pada the 4th quarter of Atma, but for the purpose of this answer, going into it in detail is not necessary and it will suffice to explain what it is by simply stating that it is neither conscious nor unconscious, it exists within us as well as outside us.

Based on above verses of mAndUkya upanishad, it is clear that a body can still be medically alive even if one or all 2 of the above non-turiya Atmas are gone, so long as the pragnyAna Atma is still present, even if it is just a flicker, in the body.

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